For the second straight year, the Robert Bateman Timberwolves made a deep run at the B.C. high school senior boys rugby provincial tournament but ultimately came up short in the AAA Tier 1 final at Rotary Stadium on Saturday.
The Wolves fell 46-19 to the Earl Marriott Mariners, putting an end to a run that saw the sixth-seed Bateman team take out both the third-ranked R.E. Mountain and second-ranked Yale Lions in earlier tournament games.
According to Mariners head coach Adam Roberts, Bateman’s dramatic and draining 16-15 win over the Lions in the provincial semifinal on Friday meant his team entered the final with a bit more in the tank, and they took advantage of that early.
The Mariners were up 34-5 at the half, and rode that wave to the win. Bateman’s George Piper put the Wolves on the board in the first half with a try.
“Bateman played their hearts out against Yale, and we knew that if we came out on fire, and took that front foot, we’d have a good first half and that’s exactly what happened,” he said.
It was more of the same in the second half, with Bateman connecting more on offence with tries from Andreas Guzman and Sam Davenport
It’s wasn’t Bateman’s day as they ran into a well drilled @EMS_Rugby side. Still a great season finishing 2nd in the province! @BCSchoolRugby @BCRugbyNews @bcrugbyunion @htsumura pic.twitter.com/hSiz6eUTjt
— Bateman Rugby (@BatemanRugby) June 2, 2019
The Lions also were impacted after the semifinal loss, as the Abbotsford school lost 57-12 to the South Delta Sun Devils in the bronze medal game.
Bateman’s Davenport and Yale’s Tayton Geinger were both named tournament all-stars.
The semifinal game featuring Abbotsford schools Yale and Bateman was one to remember, as the teams were deadlocked at 10 at the half, and Davenport got Bateman on the board with two penalty kicks to put them up 16-10. Yale countered with a try late in the game, but failed to make the go-ahead and convert and couldn’t make up that final point difference.
Bateman also got an game-opening try from Aidan Clayton-Davidson, while Yale got scores from Geinger and Rowan Bridger.
Local schools also had a strong showing in the AAA Tier II tournament, as the Abbotsford Panthers earned a provincial bronze.
The Panthers entered the tournament seeded third, and opened with a 23-19 over Cowichan. Abbotsford then fell 23-19 to the eventual provincial champions from Lord Byng. The club then bounced back on Saturday with a 24-14 win over Nanaimo District to earn the bronze.
Byng beat West Vancouver 34-12 in the AAA Tier II final.
In non-local results, the AAAA final saw Shawnigan Lake defeat St. George’s 21-12 to score the provincial gold in that division. Carson Graham downed Oak Bay 42-24 to earn bronze.
Collingwood blanked St. Michael’s University 34-0 in the AA Tier I championship final, while Brentwood College beat Rockridge 31-22 to take home bronze.
The AA Tier II final saw Sir Charles Tupper defeat Byrne Creek 19-10, and D.W. Poppy beat L.V. Rogers 29-10 in the bronze game.
For complete results from the event, visit bcssru.com.
Meanwhile, Abbotsford girls rugby teams also took home a pair of bronze medals at provincials the previous weekend.
The Yale Lions defeated Gleneagle in the third place game to earn the AAA bronze on May 25, while Bateman took down the Abbotsford Panthers 22-12 in the AA bronze game.
— Bateman Rugby (@BatemanRugby) May 25, 2019
– With files from Nick Greenizan/Peace Arch News